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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 23, 2006

Santa Clara - 77
Utah State - 75 (OT)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - John Bryant matched his career high with 20 points and had a season high 12 rebounds to lead Santa Clara to a 77-75 overtime victory over Utah State on Saturday.

Danny Pariseau scored all 11 of his points after halftime as the Broncos (9-4) won their fourth straight at home and fourth out of five overall. Scott Dougherty had a career-high 16 points and Mitch Henke added 14 to score in double figures for the fourth time in five games.

Stephen DuCharme scored 18 of his 22 points after the intermission for the Aggies (9-3), who fell to 2-3 on the road. Jaycee Carroll was held to a season-low 14. After falling behind by nine early in the first half, the Broncos rallied to take a 12-point halftime lead behind the shooting of Dougherty and Joey Kaempf, who each hit three 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Dougherty tied his career high with 13 first-half points.

Trailing by four points in the final minute Pariseau made a pair of free throws and then Bryant hit an inside basket to tie the game with 6.7 seconds left. Utah State missed a chance to win when a driving layup bounced off the front of the rim as time expired. The Aggies had three players, including two starters, foul out late in the game.

Pariseau gave the Broncos the lead for good with a twisting layup at the 2:50 mark of overtime. The Broncos led by as many as five before the Aggies made it close in the final seconds.

Santa Clara also spoiled Aggies' coach Stew Morrill's bid for his 200th win at the school.

The game was Utah State's first trip to Santa Clara since losing there in 1976.

Santa Clara is back in action on Thursday, Dec. 28 in the 40th Annual Cable Car Classic as the Broncos face Colgate in the opening game at 6:00 p.m. PT. The second game featuring Air Force and George Washington will tip off 30 minutes after the first game concludes. The consolation and championship games will be played on Friday, Dec. 29 beginning at 6:00 p.m. PT. All games will be played at the Leavey Center at Santa Clara.

Southern Illinois - 66
Saint Mary's - 61

Moraga, CA - Randal Falker had a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds to help the Southern Illinois Salukis defeat Saint Mary's 66-61 in Moraga on Saturday afternoon. Wayne Hunter came off the bench to provide the Gaels with a spark as he scored a season-high 17 points in the loss.

Falker did most of his damage to the Gaels in the second half, as he scored 12 of his 23 points and grabbed nine of his game-high 11 rebounds in the final 20 minutes. Falker also finished the game with five blocked shots, with three in the second half.

Saint Mary's, which was coming off a three-game road losing skid, lost its fourth straight for just the second time under Randy Bennett since the 2001-02 campaign. Diamon Simpson added 13 points and a team-leading nine rebounds and Brett Collins added 10 points and five rebounds for the Gaels.

Eight of Collins' points came in the final two minutes of the game. Collins scored just his fifth point from the free throw line with 1:58 remaining, which cut the SIU lead to 55-54. But when the Gaels needed a stop, Wesley Clemmons hit a three-pointer on the next possession to give the Salukis a four-point advantage. Clemmens scored 10 points off the bench for SIU.

Southern Illinois jumped out to an early 11-4 lead and the nation's number-three defense held the Gaels to just two baskets over the first six minutes of the game. The Gaels would even the score at 15-15 on a 3-pointer by John Winston. SIU's first half lead reached eight points (27-19) following a Jamaal Tatum jumper with 3:00 remaining in the first half. SMC would cut the deficit to 27-24 following an old fashioned 3-point play by Simpson, but a jumper by Brian Mullins a the end of the half had Southern Illinois leading 32-26 at intermission.

In the second half, SIU extended its lead to 38-30 following a free throw by Falker. The Gaels then used a 9-0 run, which was capped by a Hunter 3-pointer to take a 39-38 lead with 12:15 remaining. SIU answered with an 8-2 run to hold a 48-42 with 8:26 left on the clock. SMC would cut the lead to 53-51 following two free throws by Simpson.

The Gaels scored 61 points against a Salukis' defense that was holding opponents to 53.2 points per game. Once against Saint Mary's struggled from 3-point range, making just 4-of-14 shots from distance. The Salukis shot 51.1 percent from the floor and 40 percent from behind the arch. SIU out-rebounded the Gaels 31-30 in the game.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Dec. 28 when it hosts the Fourth Annual Shamrock Office Solutions Classic. This year's tournament features Saint Mary's, Western Carolina, Belmont and Rice. The tournament will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday with Belmont and Rice taking the court. The Saint Mary's versus Western Carolina game will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.

Valparaiso - 64
San Francisco - 59

Honolulu, HI - Brandon McPherson scored 24 points to pace three Crusaders in double figurs as Valparaiso was able to survive another late USF comeback to top the Dons 64-59 in the seventh-place game of the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu Saturday.

Armondo Surratt scored 23 points and Antonio Kellogg added 19 to pace the Dons, who dropped to 4-10 on the season after dropping their sixth straight, all but one on the road. Dons center Alan Wiggins, Jr. scored just seven points, making three of five field goal attempts.

Valparaiso (4-8) also got 14 points from Shawn Huff and 13 from Samuel Haanpaa. The Crusaders made 11 of 21 three-point shots including 4 of 4 by McPherson.

USF, as they have throughout the Classic, fought back and closed the lead to three points at 60-58 in the final minute, but could not get any closer as McPherson made four straight free-throws.

"We need to need to get our offense more consistent, today we did not have an inside game," said Dons head coach Jessie Evans. "They controlled the tempo, but we did not convert on our opportunities and had some breakdowns on defense. McPherson had a big game. They defended our posts well, give credit to them."

Valparaiso took the lead for good after making a 9-0 run early in the game to take a 28-19 lead with three minutes left in the first half. The Dons trailed by six midway through the half before Valpo made three consecutive three-pointers to expand the lead to 52-37.

The Crusaders hit 11 of 21 three-point shots and outrebounded USF 38-25.

USF plays their final pre-conference game Thursday at Louisville. USF then opens WCC play at home when they face San Diego at War Memorial Gymnasium on January 6th.

Notes: USF head coach Jessie Evans and women's head coach Tanya Haave will talk to Dons' fans at the West Coast Conference Kickoff Dinner on January 4th at USF's McLaren Center. Tickets are $35 per person and reservations can be made by calling 415-422-2930.